Cinco de Mayo, or the Fifth of May, is a holiday that is celebrated annually in Mexico, United States and other parts of the world. It is a day that commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. While it is not a major holiday in Mexico, it has become a popular celebration in the United States, particularly in areas with a large Mexican-American population.
Cinco de Mayo History
The Battle of Puebla was fought during the Franco-Mexican War, which began in 1861 when Mexican President Benito Juarez declared a temporary suspension of payments on foreign debt. This led France, along with Britain and Spain, to send a fleet to Mexico to demand payment. While Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew their forces, France saw an opportunity to establish a new empire in Mexico and decided to invade.
The French army, under the command of General Charles de Lorencez, marched toward Mexico City, but they were met by a much smaller and poorly equipped Mexican army at Puebla. Led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, the Mexicans were outnumbered and outgunned, but they managed to successfully defend the city and defeat the French forces. The battle was a significant victory for Mexico, as it boosted morale and helped to unify the country.
Cinco de Mayo Fun Facts
Cinco de Mayo is often mistakenly thought to be Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually celebrated on September 16th.
The holiday was first celebrated in California in the 1860s, as Mexican-Americans marked the victory at Puebla with parades and speeches.
Today, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in many parts of the United States with parades, festivals, and parties that feature Mexican food, music, and dance.
The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world takes place in Los Angeles, California, where over 600,000 people attend the annual festival.
In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, where the Battle of Puebla took place. The holiday is not a federal holiday in Mexico, and schools and businesses remain open.
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that commemorates a significant victory in Mexican history and has become a popular celebration in the United States. While it is often associated with festive celebrations and Mexican culture, it is important to remember the historical significance of the Battle of Puebla and the impact it had on Mexico’s national identity.
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